A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives involved in the 2007 massacre at Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. On Wednesday, the jury found one guard, Nicholas Slatten, guilty of first-degree murder, while three other guards were convicted of voluntary manslaughter: Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard. The jury is still deliberating on additional charges against the operatives, who faced a combined 33 counts. The operatives were tried for the deaths of 14 of the 17 Iraqi civilians who died when their Blackwater unit opened fire. We speak to Jeremy Scahill, author of the best-selling book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army." His most recent article published by The Intercept is "Blackwater Founder Remains Free & Rich While His Former Employees Go Down on Murder Charges."
"At this stage I can offer nothing more than my word. I am a senior government employee in the intelligence community. I hope you understand that contacting you is extremely high risk … This will not be a waste of your time." This was one of the first messages Edward Snowden wrote to filmmaker Laura Poitras beginning an exchange that helped expose the massive surveillance apparatus set up by the National Security Agency. Months later, Poitras would meet Snowden for the first time in a Hong Kong hotel room. Poitras filmed more than 20 hours of footage as Snowden debriefed reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill. That footage — most unseen until now — forms the backbone of Poitras’ new film, "Citizenfour." She joins us to talk about the film and her own experience with government surveillance. The film is the third installment of her 9/11 trilogy that also includes "My Country, My Country" about the Iraq War and "The Oath" about the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Poitras’ NSA reporting contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to The Guardian and The Washington Post. We also speak with Jeremy Scahill, who appears in the film reporting on recent disclosures about NSA surveillance from a new, anonymous government source. Scahill, along with Poitras and Greenwald, founded The Intercept, a new media venture to continue investigating whistleblower leaks.
- 2 Dead in Attack on Canadian War Memorial, Parliament
- Report: U.S. Airstrikes in Syria Killed 32 Civilians
- Pentagon Confirms Islamic State Got U.S. Arms Drop
- 4 Blackwater Operatives Found Guilty in Nisoor Massacre
- WHO: True Ebola Death Toll May Be 15,000
- WHO: 1.5 Million Died of Tuberculosis in 2013
- Mexico: Tens of Thousands Protest Students' Disappearance; Iguala Mayor Implicated
- White House Fence Jumper Quickly Apprehended
- DOJ Condemns "Selective" Leaks in Michael Brown Case
- "O22" Protests Against Police Brutality Held in Over 80 Cities
After world-renowned scholar Noam Chomsky gave a major address on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the hall of the United Nations General Assembly last week, Amy Goodman interviewed the world-renowned linguist and dissident before an audience of 800 people. Chomsky spoke at an event sponsored by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. “One important action that the United States could take is to live up to its own laws. Of course it would be nice if it lived up to international law, but maybe that’s too much to ask,” Chomsky said.
As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces plans to set up an investigation into the attacks on United Nations facilities during Israel’s recent assault on the Gaza Strip, we broadcast the speech of world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky, who recently spoke in the hall of the U.N. General Assembly at an event sponsored by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. "The pattern that was set in January 1976 continues to the present," said Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Israel rejects a settlement of these terms and for many years has been devoting extensive resources to ensuring it will not be implemented with the unremitting and decisive support of the United States — military, economic, diplomatic and ideological."
- Video Appears to Show U.S. Arms Airdrop in ISIS Hands
- U.N. Warns ISIS Assault on Yazidis May Be "Attempted Genocide"
- WHO Plans Large-Scale Ebola Vaccine Trials for January
- U.S. Imposes Ebola Restrictions on Travelers from West Africa
- U.S. Cameraperson, Spanish Nurse Declared Ebola Free
- Afghanistan: Opium Poppy Crop Hits Record High, Despite $7 Billion in U.S. Funds
- North Korea Releases U.S. Prisoner
- Mexico: Global Day of Action Held for 43 Missing Students; Soldiers Accused of Executing 15 People
- Philippines: U.S. Marine Accused of Murder Moved to Base, Still in U.S. Custody
- 7.8 Million Vehicles Recalled over Faulty Airbags
- Wyoming Becomes 32nd State Where Same-Sex Marriage is Legal
- Former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee Dies at 93
Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is set to sign into law a bill critics say will trample the free speech rights of prisoners. Last week, lawmakers openly said they passed the legislation as a way to target one of the state’s most well-known prisoners: journalist and former Black Panther, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1982 of killing of a Philadelphia police officer, but has long maintained his innocence. During a late night vote last Tuesday, the Pennsylvania House unanimously approved the "Revictimization Relief Act," which authorizes the censoring of public addresses of prisoners or former offenders if judges agree that allowing them to speak would cause "mental anguish" to the victim. The measure was introduced after Abu-Jamal delivered a pretaped commencement address for graduating students at Vermont’s Goddard College earlier this month. We air Abu-Jamal’s response to the bill and speak to Noelle Hanrahan, founder of Prison Radio, which has been recording and distributing Abu-Jamal’s commentaries from prison since 1992.
On Monday, the Israeli government made a rare appearance before the United Nations Human Rights Committee, but its delegation refused to acknowledge responsibility for the conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel for nearly half a century. We speak to a legal expert who has just spent six years trying to hold Israel to account for its actions in the Occupied Territories. Richard Falk recently completed his term as special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights for the United Nations Human Rights Council. His writings about the Israel-Palestine issue and his experience as U.N. rapporteur are compiled in the new book, "Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope."
Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States would not act to prevent the Islamic State from seizing Kobani because the Syrian Kurdish town was not a "strategic objective." But as news cameras on the Turkish-Syrian border showed Islamic State fighters assaulting a town in plain sight, the U.S.-led coalition responded with the most airstrikes of its Syria campaign. The U.S.-led coalition has also begun dropping air supplies of weapons and aid to the Syrian Kurds, a move it had resisted for weeks. Now Turkey says it will open its border with Syria to let Iraqi Kurdish fighters join the fight. The Turkish government had opposed aiding the Syrian Kurds in Kobani because of their links to Turkey’s longtime foe, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK. To help us sort out this complicated picture, we are joined by longtime international law professor and former United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, who has just returned from four months in Turkey.
- Cuba Sends 91 More Health Workers to West Africa, Offers to Work with U.S. on Ebola
- CDC Unveils New Health Worker Protocols for Ebola
- U.S. Continues Bombardment of ISIS Near Kobani
- Indonesia Inaugurates Joko Widodo as President
- Australian Police Drop Probe into 1975 Murder of 5 Journalists by Indonesian Forces
- Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to 5 Years for Girlfriend's Killing, Likely to Serve 10 Months
- Reports: Ukraine Used Cluster Munitions in Donetsk in Possible War Crime
- Philippines: After Murder of Transgender Woman, Protests Target U.S. Forces Agreement
- U.N. Warns of "Rampant" Sexual Violence in South Sudan
- Man Suspected of Killing 7 Women in Indiana
- WTO Rules Against U.S. Meat Labeling Requirements
- U.N. Officials Condemn Water Shutoffs in Detroit
- Report: U.S. Spent Millions on Social Security Benefits for Nazi War Crime Suspects
- Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard Indicted for Corruption
- NOAA: 2014 Poised to Be Hottest Year on Record
- Climate Change Whistleblower Rick Piltz Dies After Cancer Battle
Meet the Media Enabled Musketeers, a group of Russians and Americans with disabilities who have banded together to raise awareness about disability issues through film. They have created a dozen short movies that delve into the everyday challenges faced by people with disabilities — issues of accessibility, love, dreams and prejudice. One of the films, "Don’t Look Down on Me," has become a YouTube sensation, viewed more than 2.6 million times. The film chronicles a day in the life of Jonathan Novick, a New York resident with achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism, who uses a hidden camera to expose the prejudice and insensitivity he encounters on a daily basis. We broadcast excerpts of the Musketeers’ films and speak to four of the people involved about how the Russian-American project provides a deeper understanding of life with disability while bridging the divide between their two countries.
Anita Sarkeesian, a prominent feminist critic of video games, was forced to cancel a speech at Utah State University last week after the school received an email threatening to carry out "the deadliest shooting in American history" at the event. The email sender wrote: "feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge." The sender used the moniker Marc Lepine, the name of a man who killed 14 women, most of them female engineering students, in a mass shooting in Montreal in 1989. Sarkeesian canceled the talk after being told that under Utah law, campus police could not prevent people from bringing guns. We speak to Sarkeesian about the incident, the "Gamergate" controversy, and her campaign to expose misogyny, sexism and violence against female characters in video games despite repeated physical threats. "Online harassment, especially gendered online harassment, is an epidemic," Sarkeesian says. "Women are being driven out, they’re being driven offline; this isn’t just in gaming, this is happening across the board online, especially with women who participate in or work in male-dominated industries."
- UNICEF: Several Thousand Children Orphaned by Ebola in West Africa
- U.N. Provides Food to Ebola-Stricken Town; Liberian President Warns a Generation "Risks Being Lost"
- Duncan Contacts Declared Ebola-Free in Texas After 21-Day Monitoring Ends
- Obama Appoints New Ebola Czar in Absence of Confirmed Surgeon General
- Kobani Faces Heavy Violence as U.S. Arms Syrian Kurds, Turkey Allows Passage
- 21 Killed in Baghdad Suicide Attack; Iraqi Forces Seek to Retake Baiji
- Ongoing Militia Fighting Kills 75 in Benghazi
- Boko Haram Kills Dozens Despite Claims of Deal for Ceasefire and Schoolgirls' Release
- Report: Not Enough Evidence to Indict Officer in Federal Civil Rights Probe of Michael Brown Killing
- Florida Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing of Black Teen Jordan Davis over Loud Music
- Supreme Court Allows Texas to Enforce Voter ID Law That Could Disenfranchise "Hundreds of Thousands"
- Report: Obama Administration Considers Sidestepping U.N. Torture Ban Overseas
- U.N. Rapporteurs Visit Detroit to Probe Water Shutoffs
- Colombian Farmers Sue BP for Environmental Damage
- Influential Kenyan Scholar Ali Mazrui Dead at 81
As we broadcast from Denver, Colorado, we examine how the state’s U.S. Senate race in the upcoming midterm election could shape who controls Congress. Republican candidate Cory Gardner and Democratic incumbent Mark Udall are neck and neck in the polls. Gardner is a two-term congressman and son of a tractor salesman who has attacked Udall’s support of the Affordable Care Act and close family political ties. Meanwhile, Udall has accused Gardner of being too far to the right, especially in his previous support for Colorado’s "personhood" ballot measures, which declared that rights begin at conception. Outside groups have poured millions of dollars into the campaigns. We look at the Gardner-Udall contest — and other key issues in the midterm election — with Mike Littwin, a longtime Denver Post political columnist who now writes for The Colorado Independent.
As Denver faces a string of police brutality cases, a federal jury has awarded a historic $4.6 million in damages to the family of a homeless preacher killed while he was in the booking area of the Denver jail. Marvin Booker died after he was grabbed and then piled on by a team of officers who handcuffed him, put him in a chokehold and tasered him. The coroner ruled his death a homicide, but prosecutors declined to charge the deputies involved, and Denver Sheriff Department officials never disciplined them, saying Booker could have harmed someone and that force was needed to restrain him. The case highlights a history of alleged misconduct by the police department, and has added momentum to calls for reform both locally and nationwide in the aftermath of calls for justice in the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by an officer in Ferguson. We are joined by two guests: Rev. Reginald Holmes, pastor of the New Covenant Christian Church/Alpha and Omega Ministries, who has been a leading voice calling for law enforcement accountability, and Susan Greene, editor of The Colorado Independent and longtime reporter formerly with The Denver Post.
- WHO Lists 15 African Countries Threatened by Ebola; Jamaica Imposes Travel Ban
- Obama Opposes Travel Ban, But Leaves Wiggle Room; Could Name Ebola "Czar"
- Head of Dallas Hospital Apologizes for Duncan Treatment, Nurse's Ebola Infections
- U.S. Continues Kobani Bombardment for 3rd Day
- Syrian Kurds Seek American Weapons; U.S. Continues Talks with Turkey
- String of Bombings Kills at Least 36 in Baghdad
- Israeli Forces Fatally Shoot Palestinian Boy in Occupied West Bank
- Venezuela Wins Seat on United Nations Security Council
- Jobless Benefit Claims Hit 14-Year Low
- Obama Admin Taps ACLU Lawyer to Head Justice Dept. Civil Rights Division
- Pennsylvania Lawmakers Approve Prisoner Censorship After Speech by Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Biden's Son Discharged from Navy Reserve over Cocaine Use
We look at a book out this week that offers a new vision for the pro-choice movement. In "Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights," Nation columnist Katha Pollitt dissects the logic behind the hundreds of abortion restrictions enacted over the past few years and shows that, at their core, they are not about safety, but about controlling women. In order to reverse the tide of eroding access, Pollitt concludes, the pro-choice movement must end the "awfulization" of abortion. She writes, "I want us to start thinking of abortion as a positive social good and saying this out loud."
Texas abortion clinics shuttered by a recent court ruling have been allowed to reopen after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked part of an anti-choice law that would have required abortion clinics to meet the standards of hospital-style surgery centers. Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the rule to take immediate effect, essentially gutting access to abortion overnight. Thirteen clinics were forced to close, leaving just eight in all of Texas. The latest Supreme Court ruling will allow the clinics to continue providing care while the appeals court considers the law. At least eight have reportedly already opened their doors again. Texas previously had more than 40 clinics, but many remain closed under another of the law’s provisions which requires abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. In its decision Tuesday, the Supreme Court also blocked that requirement as it applies to two clinics in the isolated communities of El Paso and McAllen. We are joined by Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman’s Health in McAllen, the only abortion clinic open south of San Antonio. It will begin seeing patients again on Friday.
We look at the political and economic circumstances of the spread of Ebola with science writer Leigh Phillips, who calls for a socialization of pharmaceutical research and production. Phillips says that using revenues from profitable drugs to subsidize research for unprofitable drugs would reduce the costs of vaccines and their development. He also argues the decimation of the healthcare infrastructure is linked to the same free market policies and austerity measures pushed by Western countries and the International Monetary Fund that impoverished the West African countries where the Ebola outbreak has occurred. "We need to begin to ask whether capitalism itself is not pathogenic," says Phillips, whose recent article for Jacobin magazine is "The Political Economy of Ebola."
As the infections of two Dallas nurses fuel concerns about Ebola in the United States, the death toll in West Africa is approaching 5,000. The World Health Organization has warned there could be up to 10,000 new Ebola cases per week in the coming months, up from the current 1,000. We are joined by Michelle Dynes, a nurse and epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has returned from Sierra Leone. Dynes spent the past several weeks responding to the Ebola epidemic in the country’s Kenema district. "It’s a strange situation to see that much pain and suffering and not be able to provide a hug, or comfort," Dynes says.